Many times athletes get in an area where they feel they aren’t improving like they should, or they are seeing others pass them by. Well, it could be a number of things. My dad always used to tell me, you have to do more than anyone else if you want to be the best. If you think about that for a second, it’s true.
Let’s take swimming for this example. The coach gives everyone a workout and the majority of the swimmers train hard and roughly swim the same throughout the different sets given. Did you take 2 extra kicks off of every wall? Did you not breathe off of every wall until the 3rd stroke? Are you fully concentrating on the drill given or just giving a half effort and resting until the next main set? How about sleeping more? Are you, and this is a big one, watching films, searching for tips, reading Splash magazine for the latest info on great athletes and being a student of your sport. I know what the answer there is. NOT MANY. Too bad, there is tons of stuff out there. There is no reason for mediocrity. If your coach isn’t paying attention to you, ask him or her questions, let them know your really care about your own improvement and share the desire for greatness. All of these things together will work. It may take time to form new habits, but it will work. Be patient, very patient.
So back to when I was a young athlete, after about the 5th or 6th time my dad kept telling me to do more than anyone else, I finally took action. More time in the weight room, concentrated more at practice, worked harder at my sport, watched other swimmers and athletes, learned how to be better at what I do. Do you think Michael Jordan did more than everyone? How about Michael Phelps? Dara Torres? How about Lance Armstrong? Ever heard or Ryan Lochte? Did you think these guys all just “tucked in” in practice (or out of the water) and maintained what everyone else was doing? Easy answer.
Have a desire to be great and the will to work for great speed in and out of the water is what you need to do.
So do more than anyone else for a couple months, whether you are an athlete, or have personal goals, or in the work place. It will work. Let me know how your life has changed for the better.
So maybe you’ve seen the dismantling. I have and I’ve heard about it too!
Being tired of losing will do that. Tired of second or third. Sick of it. Living with his talent wasn’t enough. Living with his incredible skills and gift in the water wasn’t enough. So he had to fix something. He was over it. A competitor that met the roadblock and kicked it aside to fix his issues.
What were they?
1. Eating! Being an avid fast food and especially McDonald’s abuser wasn’t doing the deal. The hamburglar yes, together with swimming, NO! He wasn’t getting the power and energy needed to control the world and own any event he trained for. Now he does—All-In!
From an article by Jason Devaney (Universal Sports) “Riddled with knee and groin injuries this year, Lochte decided to change up his habits. Gone are the days of constant McDonald’s runs; he’s eating better now. The Floridian also hits the weight room more and said he feels as strong as ever.”
2. More than weights! Yes, yes, working hard in the weight room with all the other swimmers is one thing, and even working harder than them is great, but doing more than the general population with innovative techniques and strength building is way over the top. What else does that type of training help? It strengthens the mind, the mental depth to succeed beyond the regular SwimmerJoe. I am a huge believer in this. Everybody I’ve coached with knows what I am talking about. Check this about Ryan Lochte–what a change, what a stud—All-In!
3. Sharpened focus! Ryan was tired of getting second and third. I don’t blame him, I can’t stand it either. Tired of working hard but not having the “total package” to get the job done. So he focused on ALL the elements his body and mind needed to get the job done of being the world’s number 1 swimmer. AND it worked, plain and simple.
Good for Ryan. It’s great to see him put everything together. Swimmers, triathletes and weekend athletes like myself: Words to you! Go “All-In” for a training season, in the pool, at the food table, and in the weightroom. Secondly, train with an uninterrupted razor focused mission, move all energy, mentally and physically to your goal.
So what happened? Check it out the result of Lochte’s training-it happened twice this week at World Championships!
Next time, I will see you at your best!
By the way, free World Swimmng Coverage http://MyPremium.tv go to right column, click British Europort
When I showed up this past Sunday for the Mutual of Omaha‘s Breakout Swim Clinic with Josh Davis and Ryan Lochte, I really didn’t know what to expect. I don’t think the kids did either.
I’ve seen many clinics, been a camp director, coached for years, and I was very impressed with the boys. Josh Davis was excellent speaker and tactician, who really engaged the young swimmers with his special ways of teaching. Ryan Lochte was a rocket ship who talked about certain things that kept him going, including his main point, “having fun,” which I agree!
150 young athletes listened to Coach Lochte and Coach Davis, swam for 3 hours, and ate mounds of pizza. What did they learn? They learned from incredible Olympic athletes and saw the way the big dogs do it. They saw starts (the launching pad!) and how to win it, streamlining, all four strokes and the drills that can make them great. The swimmers will keep this past weekend in their head forever. (Hey, I remember my first clinic….backstroker John Naber. It must have been 1978!)
Sometimes learning from the great athletes themselves comes across better than from their coaches. Haha!
What an experience for everyone involved! Hopefully some of the young swimmers will be in Josh Davis’s and Ryan Lochte’s position one day. I can’t wait to find out!
Here is the video.
I saw a video “round up” like this on http://centralfltop5.com (my wife’s site) and thought it would be a great thing to do for swimming. SwimmerJoe’s videos will be a weekly list of videos, that are current and can teach you something about swimming, whether you are a competitive or recreational swimmer, triathlete, or even runner that needs some swimming for rehabilitation, etc.
I will list 5 or so videos that have been uploaded on the internet within the past week. I may even put some of mine from our swim team on there if they can help you all! What this will utlimately do is save you endless minutes or hours looking for videos on swimming or the previously mentioned areas.
So check it out once a week, I will try and keep it on the same day so you can count on it. So here we go with our first set. If you like this idea, let me know, if not, let me know. Have a great week and keep training hard and extremely focused on your goals!
For April 14 – 16, 2011 –
You guys want to watch some great racing? You guys should tune in tonight for finals, tomorrow a.m. for prelims and tomorrow night for finals. Phelps and Lochte should meet head to a few times. Enjoy!
So I was sitting around thinking about random stuff, and decided if Ryan Lochte were to ever hitchhike, I’m pretty sure this is the type of experience he might have:
Well, I was thumbin’ from Liverpool
I had my swim bag on my back
When a stranger stopped beside me in an wacked out Cadillac
Well he was dressed like worn out swimmer
Half asleep and hollow-eyed
He said “It’s a long walk to London
Would you like a ride, bud?”
And well I sat down in the front seat, he turned on the stereo
Them bad rap songs comin’ out of them 16 inch speaks were solid mutha gold
And I noticed the stranger was ghost-white pale
When he asked me for a break
And I knew there was something strange about this ride
He said, “Swimmer can ya make folks cry when you swim and win?
Have you paid your dues, can you win the jewels?
Can you win them US golds?”
He said, “Boy, can you take massive strokes from the depths inside?
Cause if you’re big star bound let me warn ya, it’s a long, hard ride.”
Then he cried just north of London
And he turned that car around
He said, “This is where you get off boy,
Cause I’m goin’ back to the ‘pool.’”
As I stepped out of that Cadillac
I said, “Mister, thank you for the help.”
He said, “You don’t have to call me Mister, Mister.,
The whole world calls me Phelps.”
And, if you’re big star bound
Let me warn ya its a long, hard ride!
Watch out world, America is coming in 2012!
A friend of mine from work sent me this article. It’s a good read! It was recently in the Wall Street Journal on June 1. Enjoy and have a great weekend. Here is the original link: http://bit.ly/cIJEAk
Like many fitness swimmers, I can go mile after mile of freestyle without stopping. But a single lap of the butterfly stroke leaves me gasping.
Of the four strokes swum in competition, butterfly is almost universally regarded as more exhausting than freestyle, breaststroke or backstroke. And therein lies its allure. In an age of ultramarathons, Ironman triathlons and crowds chugging up Mount Everest, long-distance butterfly swimming is becoming a new and less-crowded frontier for fitness fanatics. It’s also hugely advantageous, because fly swimming, as it’s known, requires enormous strengthening of every muscle in the body, particularly the core muscles in the abdomen and back.
Tom Boettcher, a high-tech entrepreneur in Chicago, recently swam butterfly from Alcatraz Island to San Francisco, a distance of 1.5 miles, across choppy waters. And summer after summer he competes in the Big Shoulders 5K—a 3.1-mile race in Lake Michigan—swimming every stroke butterfly. “There are times when I’m utterly wasted at the end, and times when I could swim an extra mile or two, depending on how choppy and cold the water is,” says the 45-year-old.
Swimming 500 meters or more of non-stop butterfly can place an athlete in a truly elite, if unofficial, club. For context, consider that while the longest Olympic freestyle event is 6.2 miles, the longest stretch of butterfly performed in the Games is 200 meters, or one eighth of a mile.
Nobody knows how many swimmers are flying for distance these days, and there’s no distance-flying regulatory body to set standards such as whether wetsuits can be worn in open-water swims. But the mere sight of a swimmer doing mile after mile or lap after lap of butterfly in competitions otherwise teeming with freestylers garners attention of the sort that merely finishing an Ironman triathlon no longer generates. Dan Projansky has won publicity in half a dozen newspapers and magazines for his long-distance open-water races swimming butterfly. “Everybody seems to think I’m a kook,” says Mr. Projansky, 52, an insurance salesman in northern Illinois.
People who swim freestyle, the most popular stroke in the U.S. which is also known as the front crawl, are taught to glide through the water in a fashion that creates the sensation of swimming downhill. In the butterfly, however, both arms come forward simultaneously and pull the chest above the top of the water while the feet perform typically a two-beat dolphin kick. More than any other stroke, the butterfly feels akin to swimming uphill.
“There’s a huge surge of propulsion as the arms pull you forward, then a deceleration during the recovery,” says Steven Munatones, a former coach of U.S. Olympic distance swimmers. “Compared with the consistent acceleration of freestyle, fly is like giving a vehicle the gas and then the brakes, gas and then brakes. It’s very taxing.”
As hard as it can be to swim butterfly over long distances, the fundamentals of the stroke can be mastered in a single lesson with a good coach. Swim instructors highly recommend it because the butterfly burns more calories and strengthens more muscles than any other stroke. Fifteen minutes of butterfly can provide similar benefits to 30 to 45 minutes of freestyle, says Mr. Boettcher.
Also, so few adults master the butterfly that swimming a single length of it can confer a certain status upon a swimmer. “In a lap pool full of fitness swimmers, one lap of butterfly will turn heads,” says Mr. Munatones. “It gives people the impression that you’re a more-talented swimmer.”
Helping to inspire today’s distance fly swimmers is a recent fitness-world emphasis on strengthening the body’s core muscles. Great butterfly swimmers have always boasted powerful torsos. As a world-record-setting teenage girl, “I had such a strong core that I had to wear boy’s pants,” says Mary T. Meagher, who won three gold medals swimming butterfly at the 1984 Olympics. Now a 45-year-old mother outside Atlanta, Ms. Meagher garnered the nickname Madam Butterfly for having held two world records for nearly 20 years—an achievement that ranks among the greatest in sports history.
To strengthen his core, Mr. Boettcher, the distance flyer, says he spends two hours training on dry land for every hour he spends in the pool. The author of a book called Core Training, Mr. Boettcher uses tai chi, ballet and Pilates, as well as exercises such as sit ups, “in order to swim the butterfly optimally.” In the water, he trains for hours underwater, propelling himself forward like a dolphin, arms at his side.
A different strategy for distance fly has been developed recently by Terry Laughlin, the 59-year-old founder of Total Immersion, a national swim-improvement program. Mr. Laughlin, who has been a competitive swimmer since childhood, says he found early on that he could swim mile upon mile of freestyle, but barely muster more than 50 yards of butterfly. Frustrated, he spent hours in the pool performing drills that he hoped would expand his fly range. But “that goal eluded me for 40 years,” he says.
Five years ago, Mr. Laughlin says he was studying video footage of Olympics champion Michael Phelps when he noticed that after the young man’s chest hit the water, “he simply held a streamline, for a nanosecond, while allowing himself to sink.” Employing a similar technique, Mr. Laughlin found that it reserved his strength. Accepting that his torso was less flexible than when he was younger, he also began substituting the frog-like kick of the breaststroke for the butterfly’s dolphin kick, even though this movement would be outlawed in college or Olympic competitions. Now, Mr. Laughlin swims butterfly “with no fatigue nor any reason to stop other than a desire to do something else,” he says.
At swim practice this week I noticed several things…you know, when you just sit back and really look at the team. I was in deep thought, thinking about what it takes to be fast and the unrelenting desire to be the greatest you can be. Then something occurred to me.
Young athletes always think they have all the time in the world. They think, “Oh, I’ll work harder tomorrow,” or sometimes they don’t feel quite right. They say, “I think I pulled a muscle”, “Oh my shoulder,” or blah, blah, blah.
“Youth is wasted on the young” could not be a truer statement! If they only knew how incredible it is to be in the athletic shape they are in! Instead, they don’t realize what real aches and pains feel like…or how dangerous it is to think they will get to something tomorrow… Years can pass by!
So I went to one of my books, a motivational one that my wife bought me years ago, and I found a couple quotes from very dedicated and motivated individuals.
The first one is a very famous racecar driver:
Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek.
Even though circumstances may cause interruptions and delays, NEVER lose sight of your goal. Instead, prepare yourself in every way you can by increasing your knowledge and adding to your experience, so that you can make the most of opportunity when it occurs.
–Mario Andretti (The Edge, 1982)
Wow—it is hearing things like that get the blood boiling in my veins. What it also does is get me thinking of the young athletes I have. Who has that type of desire? Who is into stuff like that? It seems like they are more concerned with “Is the practice too hard today?” Hmmm. I think ALL the practices should be difficult if they concentrate on the preparation of being great.
I found another quote by an NFL athlete that a bunch of you all may not know, but it’s a good one. It talks about being a champion. How many of you feel like this?
No champion has ever achieved his goal without showing more dedication than the next person; making more sacrifices than the next person; working harder than the next person; training and conditioning himself more than the next person; studying harder than the next person; enjoying his final goal more than the next person.
–Doak Walker (The Edge, 1982)
How many of you all can say those things in the profession you are in…whether it’s business, sports, etc?
So this week, let’s work on your dedication, desire, determination and working more than the next person. I do know, when Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte or Natalie Coughlin get on the blocks for their races, they know in their heart they have trained harder and desired it more than the next guy….and they really, really want it!
Hey old timers: Remember when you were in a sport years ago–or even on a swim team–and there was an older athlete getting your butt in gear? They were the veterans who taught all the newbies how they were supposed to act, what they were supposed to do, and, especially the mental attitude they were to bring to practice. These leaders set the example, and showed the rest of us how to do it right.
Mine were the boys from Winter Park High School Swimming that taught me about tradition and not doing anything lightly. “We have been undefeated for years,” they would say! “Figure it out! Get your butt in gear and quit screwing around!”
Sometimes it feels like such leadership is lost today. Is it because the kids don’t care as much? Is it because of less person-to-person interaction and more playing X-box? I have no idea… I know our sport (swimming) is an individual sport, but you still need the individual athletes that crack the whip and get the rest of the team going when things are slacking. I know if I screwed around in age-group and senior practice or didn’t work hard during a set or dryland workout-I would hear about it….forcefully! At UF, same way! These leaders would also set the tone by working their tail off and showing everyone how it is done!
Young athletes: Start being yourself and believe that everyone is looking at you for direction! Don’t be a follower of the crowds, instead set the example and attitude all yourself! Don’t follow someone else’s dream (or lack of one) but tend to your own!
Those who chose to set the example and become leaders:
Bill Gates (founder of Microsoft)
Dara Torres (for sure)
Every American President
Henry Ford (founder of Ford Motor Company)
Nikola Tesla (Who? Uh let’s see…the founder of the world wide web—not even knowing it—100 years ago! Google him…)
Basically any great you’ve ever read about… So, choose to set the example and become the leader!